Hopefully I don’t get too sappy, but knowing me…I’m probably gonna.
Link had reached out to Bob’s family to see if they wanted to come down to the rink for an on ice tribute. In all honesty, when I read his email I thought to myself “there’s no way.” It wasn’t until Karen responded with a yes, that it really hit me…the fact that they could show such strength and resolve in the face of tragedy…it was truly remarkable. I apologize for my doubts, but this is just one example of how each and every person navigate’s the awful twists and turns life throws at you differently.
I don’t wanna speak for anyone else, but Wednesday provided me with something invaluable. Healing. It started after I got home that Friday night. My stoic front melted away upon seeing my wife and I lost it. Not only was it a terrible thing to witness, with uninvited images randomly popping up, but there was a whole catalog of memories stored away that our many years together playing hockey provided.
When we congregated at the blue line, there were candles and flowers placed on the ice. Karen spoke of Bob’s love for hockey. Whether it was coaching, watching, or playing with us, Bob was a hockey guy. It was refreshing to hear her recount him resting before skates, or letting her know not to schedule anything between the hours of 10-2 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Matt, Link and Tom shared some stories and even though we were there for an awful outcome…it felt good.
I can relate to Bobby’s passion for playing public puck. Hell, for the most part I’m a quiet, passive person off the ice. There’s just something about what we have down there that brings out a deluge of adrenaline. It’s the same fire I saw in Bobby and the reason we jawed at each other playfully.
A big thank you for everyone that showed up. I haven’t seen Sam or Molly in a while and it was incredibly awesome to get a taste of the grass roots again.
Dark: Davey, Shakey, the Maestro, Jack, Molly, Sean-O, M. Looby, Dan, Gazpacho, Vlad, Sam, Old Man River, 7 Minute Abs, Jimmy C, Shaymus, Mongo
White: Weevey, Tom A. Hawk, Fake Russian, Chip, Yasu, Darby, Matt, Marty, RayFro, Link, NHL Whiner, Commish’s kid, Garvin, Grabass, Angry Dave, Commish (in street clothes)
Goalie(s): B. Looby, Sam
When the play on the ice started back up, it was right back to our unique skate. I was still a screaming (coaching) lunatic and people did not let up. Sam hadn’t lost a step and his chemistry with Davey and Shakey was palpable. Molly scored a really nice goal and even hugged me, knowing the residual stench that would follow her to the bench.
- I wasn’t there for it, but Shaymus said Jack had one of the best flip passes he’s ever seen. Atta boy Jack!
- I also didn’t see the Maestro’s spin on Darby, but it was described to me as epic…does that mean defending the spin is Darby’s Achilles heel?
Sorry, my brain works in strange ways…too obscure? Epic, Achilles, Homer…try to keep up people!
- Shaymus and Shakey had a brilliant give go, give go…ultimately burning me while playing D and scoring. Bastards!
- Davey and Shakey came in on a 2v1 and Davey flipped it to Shakey for a baseball swing goal.
Later that evening, we attended the wake as a team. As anyone could imagine it was very emotional, but we got through it together. Afterwards, a large group of us went to Morse’s Tavern and shared laughs as we toasted a great guy. I spoke of healing above, but I want you guys to know, you’re also a very big part of it. When I really stop to think about the special bond we share, it really puts it in perspective. We don’t have to be fast friends that call or text each other about what’s happening on The Bachelor. Why else do you think Shakey and I write about our skates or current events (unpaid)? It’s for the the love of hockey (and we’re hilarious). Anyway, we stayed at Morse’s for a while and I think it helped a lot of us process losing a friend. Thursday morning sucked…
Yasu won best dressed over Matt, although Shakey was the only one voting.
One of our club hockey players Nojus (The Lithuanian Lightning Bolt), recognized Blue Line Bob for the kind guy he was. He texted me asking where the services were and I responded…
“Nojus, you don’t have to go.”
“I want to…he was always very nice to me.”
A college kid, living in the city, coming out to attend the services of a guy he plays public hockey with. That speaks to both their characters and means a lot to me.
–Stars of the Day–
The entire Keenan family: Thank you! I know there’s a long road ahead and I don’t wanna sound selfish, but you helped our hockey family out immensely. I speak with a lot of the guys and Bobby’s absence is gonna hurt for a long time. It’s a drop in the bucket for what you guys have to endure and that’s what amazes me the most. You took the time, while mourning, to come talk with us and help us through a terrible time. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you.